You're about halfway through your speaking engagement, all fired up, and then it happens…
Someone in the audience wants to ask a question.
This question, basic as it may be, kills your rhythm.
It distracts the flow of the information for the rest of the audience.
And worse, it opens a floodgate of questions.
Before you know it, your speech has lost its momentum. The audience is restless.
And you'd like to throttle that person that raised his hand. Because it's all his fault that the presentation has gone astray.
But is it really his fault?
Or is it yours?
You're the speaker.
You're the one who has to lay down the ground rules.
If you don't lay down the ground rules, the audience has no rules.
In the absence of rules, an audience will take arbitrary decisions. And those decisions can quite easily ruin your speech. And not just ruin your speech, but irritate the audience as well.
Why would the audience be irritated?
When someone interrupts you, there's no way to control the question.
And if you feel compelled to answer, that encourages others to ask questions as well.
In every instance, the audience is there to hear you speak. Not for the speech to become a question-answer session. So if you're going to have a question-answer session, you must make it very clear to the audience when to ask the questions.
I cut interruptions with a simple outline right at the top of my speech
I do the following by telling the audience:
5) Move on to the main agenda
This simple five-step process is delivered in a matter of minutes
And it works exceedingly well to control an audience, and prevents them from interrupting your speech.
But what if someone still interrupts?
Listen to the audio below to find out how to prevent the ‘persistent interruption'.
Question: So how would you deal with interruptions? Any ideas? How have you dealt with interruptions before?
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